With the international rollout of Disney+ in full swing, Disney has been making big changes to its traditional television networks, as it moves its content over to Disney+.
When Disney purchased 20th Century Fox, they obtained a large number of TV networks around the world including Fox, Star, National Geographic and more, in addition to their own Disney Channels.
Last year multiple Disney Channels were closed down around the world, including in Australia and in the United Kingdom. With Disney also set to close down the Fox channel in the UK next month and another 18 channels in South East Asia later this year.
During a recent interview with Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media And Communications Conference. He was asked if more international cable networks are going to be closing, and he replied:
Well, we closed 30 channels in FY2020 or in 2020. We plan to close 100 in 2021. So yes, we will continue and continue at a robust rate. And then the content to your question, we’ll continue to migrate to Disney+, the great majority of that content will migrate to Disney+. And again, the decisions that we make in individual channels and individual markets, and the timing of such are sort of framed up by existing deals that we’ve gotten some of the constraints we’ve got there, but as you can see, that continues to be a core strategy for us as we pivot towards direct-to-consumer.
There are still many countries within Eastern Europe, Africa, The Middle East and in Asia, that don’t yet have Disney+ available. So we should expect a lot more channels in those regions to be closed later this year, once Disney+ launches in those regions.
Disney is set to launch another streaming service Star+ in Latin America in late August. This could lead the way for Disney to close down more TV channels in that region as well.
All of these closures will make Disney+ the main destination for content around the world, especially with the inclusion of the Star general entertainment brand.
Do you still watch traditional TV channels?